Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star

Remember back in the 80s when video killed the radio star? It was a simple song that really defined the aggressive nature and the need for instant gratification of the MTV generation.

Suddenly there was an option, an option for people who just wanted to watch cool stuff, and the world has never been the same since.

Videos became immediately addictive, people wanted more and more of those short snippets of music combined with provocative video never before seen on TV. When music videos became popular on television, the radio industry had to regroup and brace for a major change.

It's that time again

Well the time has come once again and video has committed another crime.

The popularity of video on the web is changing the entire landscape of advertising and entertainment. Never before in history has the public been exposed to so much free content.

Video on the web has become the newest trend and one that is here to stay.

Video's impact on the web

Let’s first look at the initial impact of video on the web.

The very fact that we can now compress and deliver video over the net is revolutionary in many ways.

I remember having a conversation with my father about 18 years ago and we were talking about how cool it would be if we could buy or get more information about anything we saw on TV. I’m not saying he is a prophet but he was pretty darn close in his vision to what we have today.

Flash making it easy

The ability to embed video into Flash websites has changed the landscape of web design and development. No longer are the days of static web pages that offered you pretty pictures to look at and hard to read text to skim through.

We now have interactive video, products that have tutorials, shows based around brands and home-made movies that provide hours of entertainment.

People are no longer chained to watching endless hours of reruns on cable, they can simply turn to the web and surf channels upon channels of video content absolutely free!

Interactive video

Video on the web in its early days (last year) has evolved from being a passive experience to now being fully interactive.

It has been introduced in some interesting ways.

You can control a guy in a funny suit and make him dance, over a billion people told a subservient chicken what to do.

You can have beautiful women drench themselves with water in a virtual wet t-shirt contest, be a contestant on a game show hosted by Mr. T, challenge Darth Vader’s ability to use the force, oh and did I mention you can get beautiful girls to drench themselves in a virtual wet t-shirt contest?

Tip of the iceberg

This is only the tip of the iceberg.

Many websites are now incorporating video directly into their navigational scheme to help guide the user and serve as a tool to take users through the site and almost dictate where and what the user will see and do.

Video has given web developers a new tool to completely design whole environments and give the user an experience that simply wasn’t available a year ago. New and useful ways are introduced almost daily.

Everyone's a film maker

Video on the web is committing murder in a few different ways. You have sites like YouTube and Google as well as many copycat sites that offer thousands of homemade videos, movies and gag clips for anyone to sit and watch.

This is a more passive experience although the user does have options to comment on, save, pass along and download videos as well as create and upload their own. I recently tried it and it couldn’t have been simpler.

There are also videos that are completely interactive, mini sites created by companies that are selling products, creating brand awareness or just to be silly, offering its users the ability to interact and determine what the video actually does by allowing the user to send commands via the web.

Then you have companies like Apple that are now offering users the ability to preview movies, shows and trailers, and giving them the option to take them to go on their iPod or other portable devices or to simply store on their home computers.

Where will it end?

The possibilities are endless.

Bandwidth issues are long gone, and the ability to compress high quality video on the web is advancing on a daily basis.

Cable companies are shaking in their boots and the network Gods are now having nightmares about competing with MySpace and YouTube for primetime viewers.

YouTube is one of the fastest growing sites on the web and the numbers are astonishing, as of this month 70,000 new videos have been uploaded and 100 million clips are watched on YouTube every day, the site is averaging 20 million viewers each month!

Passing the baton

The FWA is one of the places you can look to see some of these latest and greatest websites featuring video and new interactive technologies. Companies like Firstborn, Big Spaceship, Barbarian Group and others are all gearing up to unleash websites that feature integrated and interactive video over the next year and well into the future.

Has the baton been passed?

Have the lowly “web designers” who have been “cutting and pasting” and wasting time when they could have gone to medical school finally unlocked the door to the next generation of media?

Did all of those hours watching MTV pay off?

Has our vision finally been realized?


Video for all

Independent movie makers, aspiring advertising executives, web developers and plain old creative people are all embracing video on the web and using it daily. It’s become a mainstay in our society and is only gaining more and more popularity.

Kids can now express their thoughts, adults can share moments and perverts can do whatever it is they do.

Video has been unleashed on the Internet, it is the perfect companion to the web and it is where the internet is headed as we surf into the future.

A website without video is now considered low tech; MySpace and YouTube allow users to easily embed video onto a website without any programming at all. Blogs and news sites are also jumping on the bandwagon and offering video to all of their users for free.

So, has video killed again?

So has video once again taken on another life? Will video on the web eventually put television into the category of radio and make it a second rate media platform?

These are all questions that will be answered in the very near future.

As more people migrate to the web for their video entertainment and more and more content is created using video on the web, I think we are all going to be witnessing a changing of the guards in the media world.

Recently NBC cut a deal with YouTube to upload promotional video clips of some of its TV shows, including "Saturday Night Live" and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." The network is even going to advertise on YouTube and promote the site on some of its TV shows.

Stay tuned, don’t touch that dial, or perhaps I should say don’t change that URL?

About the Author, Craig Elimeliah
(former) Producer, Firstborn

Craig Elimeliah (former) Producer at Firstborn Multimedia. He is a native New Yorker who started his design career in Jerusalem. Craig has a background in design, technology, project management, entrepreneurship and sales.

When Craig is not producing projects for Firstborn he spends his time with his kids, writing, painting and cooking.

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